Archive for November 18th, 2009

Queen’s Speech 2009


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Conservatives: we will kill off Queen’s speech bills

Guardian: Tory peers will use time pressure to thwart Gordon Brown’s ‘electioneering’ package

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Last message of TA soldier shot in Afghanistan: ‘Still waiting for new body armour’

Guardian: Two weeks after being deployed Rifleman Andrew Fentiman was shot dead while on foot patrol in Helmand province

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Sergei Magnitsky, lawyer for Hermitage Capital in Kremlin case dies in prison

Times: A Russian lawyer who represented Hermitage Capital and helped the London-based hedge fund in its allegations of theft and fraud against Kremlin officials has died in prison.

Sergei Magnitsky died on Monday at Matrosskaya Tishina detention centre while awaiting trial for conspiracy. He was arrested in 2008 after accusing senior officers in the Interior Ministry of taking part in the theft of companies owned by Hermitage and HSBC. He was refused bail and spent a year behind bars, held at four detention centres, during which he was denied medical treatment and the right to see his family.

The Russian Prosecutor-General’s office said that Mr Magnitsky, who was 37, had died of a heart attack. His lawyers say they were told yesterday that their client, who worked at Firestone Duncan, a Moscow law firm, had suffered a rupture to the abdominal membrane.

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Threat of data fine is no deterrent to lucrative trade

Times: The illegal trade in personal details is a highly profitable undercover market.

Despite growing political and public concern at the security of personal data, the penalties for breaking the law remain small when compared with the sums of money that can be made from selling confidential information.

Companies are required to keep personal data secure, and it is an offence under the Data Protection Act to buy or sell personal data unless there is a public interest defence. Yet the maximum fine is £5,000 in a magistrates’ court and an unlimited sum in the Crown Court.

Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, believes that these sums are paltry and that it is time to take a tougher approach to curb the trade in personal information.

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Phone giant faces inquiry over sale of customer records

Times: The private details of millions of mobile phone customers, including their numbers and addresses, have been sold illegally.

Staff at T-Mobile passed the information to brokers who then sold it to rival phone companies. The companies then called customers as their contracts were due to expire to offer a better mobile phone deal.

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FSA fines broker over inside information

Times: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined a stockbroker £24,000 for encouraging his clients to buy shares using inside information.

Alexei Krilov-Harrison, a former broker at Pacific Continental Securities UK, was fined for encouraging clients to invest in Provexis, an AIM-listed food technology company. Mr Krilov-Harrison had inside information that Provexis was about to announce a significant contract with Unilever, the consumer goods giant.

After receiving the inside information, Mr Krilov-Harrison called three clients telling them about the contract, saying its announcement would cause Provexis’ share price to “jump up substantially”.

Two of the three clients bought Provexis shares through Mr Kriilov-Harrison.

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